Why is Rome making more of them when they should be sacking the lot? In all seriousness, I understand the interest in promoting Christianity in missionary territories—although I wonder if some of the South American appointments are a way of offsetting the prestige of the traditional cardinatial sees in Europe—but I fail to see how more cardinals is an answer. The college is largely a democratic bureaucracy. I wish for a return to the medieval model of the college, when very few episcopal sees were guaranteed red hats and the pope surrounded himself with people who were considered capable regardless of whether they were priests, deacons, monks, or bishops. What would be wrong with an abbot as a cardinal? Or some of the better parish priests of Rome? Or any professors of theology, liturgy, or canon law who happen to be only priests or deacons? Or, heaven forbid, bishops of dioceses who are simply good bishops? The red hat has become the end of the promotion change for ambitious clergy: priest—>
monsignor—>Curial monsignor—> bishop of no see auxiliary bishop—>bishop—>archbishop—>cardinal—>head of Vatican congregation—>friend of Cardinal Kasper.